Stocking Stuffers for a 3-Year-Old

I keep an eye out all year long for little gifts for my boys, which get used for birthdays or are held over until Christmas as stocking stuffers. I try not to buy stuff that is too age-specific, since they may grow out of it too early. Come December, stores are filled with so many larger gift items, it can sometimes be difficult to find stocking stuffers. Plus, I hate shopping in December! So, here’s a look into what my 3-year-old son is getting in his stocking this year! I try to do thing somewhat in parallel between brothers, so some things are similar (but never exactly alike) to the 6-year-old stocking!

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  1. DJ Mixer – the Scratch Box is our fun novelty gift this year. Though not exactly like the one I found, it mixes up pre-recorded or recorded music
  2. Lego Kits – like the Lego Creator series, or Mixels, are super small Lego sets, perfect for a stocking! You often find these end-of-aisle in stores like Walmart. This year, I didn’t get Lego, but instead a Mega Bloks set, since the Hot Wheels was a perfect fit for my boys!
  3. Novelty Toys or Candy – I like to throw in a small toy or candy toy, just to be fun. This year I found some light saber candies, and many options exist including this M&M version
  4. Super Tubes Science Kit – these little science experiments in a bottle are perfect for the stocking! Lots of options to choose from. In the past, we’ve had other sicence-y things such as a dinosaur egg dig, growing creatures or fake snow
  5. Star Wars Pez – or other novelty pez dispenser. Who can resist these?!
  6. Gummies Game Book – since big brother is getting the gum book, I thought the gummies life safer book would be more appropriate for age 3!
  7. Minifig or squish figure – this would be depending on age. Damien doesn’t love Lego as much yet, but there are many “minifig” grab bag type products. We found some cute Paw Patrol ones!

See also my Stocking Stuffers for a 6 Year OldStocking Stuffers for a 5 Year OldStocking Stuffers for a 4 Year OldStocking Stuffers for a 1 Year OldStocking Stuffers for a 2 Year Old, Stocking Stuffers for Men, and a Guys’ Guide to Stocking Stuffers for Her.

Stocking Stuffers for a 6-Year-Old

I keep an eye out all year long for little gifts for my boys, which get used for birthdays or are held over until Christmas as stocking stuffers. I try not to buy stuff that is too age-specific, since they may grow out of it too early. Come December, stores are filled with so many larger gift items, it can sometimes be difficult to find stocking stuffers. Plus, I hate shopping in December! So, here’s a look into what my 6-year-old son is getting in his stocking this year!

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  1. Lego Minifugres – you can never go wrong with a minifig! Specialty toy stores, or shopping online, are your best bets to find the widest variety in which minifig series you can buy from
  2. Lego Kits – like the Lego Creator series, or Mixels, are super small Lego sets, perfect for a stocking! You often find these end-of-aisle in stores like Walmart. This year, I didn’t get Lego, but instead a Mega Bloks set, since the Hot Wheels was a perfect fit for my boys!
  3. Last Mouse Lost – is a super quick game we recently discovered. Made of silicone, you pop the bubbles to take your turn, filling up one or more bubbles per line. If you’re stuck with the last bubble on your turn, you lose. Just flip over to restart. It’s flexible enough to keep in the car or a purse!
  4. Novelty Toys or Candy – I like to throw in a small toy or candy toy, just to be fun. This year I found some light saber candies, and many options exist including this M&M version
  5. A book from a series – we read a lot of book series’, so I often have a drawer of books I’ve purchased from Scholastic that I haven’t yet given the boys. Too many books at once and they don’t read them! So, for Christmas I have a few to choose from, but I’m leaning toward one of our Magic School Bus books. Anything small and flexible is perfect for a stocking!
  6. Super Tubes Science Kit – these little science experiments in a bottle are perfect for the stocking! Lots of options to choose from. In the past, we’ve had other sicence-y things such as a dinosaur egg dig, growing creatures or fake snow
  7. Star Wars Pez – or other novelty pez dispenser. Who can resist these?!
  8. Hubba Bubba Fun Book – though I don’t like to fill the stocking with junk, there is inevitably some candy and chocolate! Aiden is learning how to blow bubbles with gum, so this cute Hubba Bubba Fun Book was right up our alley! Plus, it comes with a fold-out game board!

See also my Stocking Stuffers for a 5 Year OldStocking Stuffers for a 4 Year Old, Stocking Stuffers for a 1 Year Old, Stocking Stuffers for a 2 Year Old, Stocking Stuffers for Men, and a Guys’ Guide to Stocking Stuffers for Her.

Half Way to Organized

I named 2015 the Year to Get Organized, and now that we’re 3/4 the way through the year, I am seeing the fruits of my labours. Really, it’s a project I began in 2014 with the first of my “lists.” Once I had two kids, it became harder to stay on top of keeping everything organized, particularly with all the new “stuff.” Over time, I realized that being tidy and organized made me feel better (I’m turning into my Oma) and that I had too much “stuff” anyway. So I began purging and organizing. Over and over.

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I made lists like these. Earlier this year, I started my second list. Today, as most of the items were checked off, I made a third. Some items have remained static (projects I’m obviously avoiding or are not bothering me as much), but others get added. Some projects seem to be yearly, like reorganizing the pantry and bathrooms. Others are always fluid, like going through the toys. We don’t have a huge stock of toys anymore, but there is always room to keep trimming.

This last list feels so much more final. I had to really think about what should be on it. When I mentally picture our house now, most places are tidy and easy to keep organized. When you get down to just what you need, it’s very easy to figure out how to organize it.

Now I’m thinking beyond the last few projects (some big, like the office, some small) to thing that would make our house better: new countertops in the bathroom, new desk in our office. 

Decals Are The Easiest Way to Redecorate

Not for the first time, I have turned to decals to redecorate for the boys. For 3 years, Aiden has had a cute train decal in his room (which was his first upgrade from his nursery style), but he’s grown up again (eek!) and it was time to reflect that in his room.

Though his room is still painted the baby-green colours, Aiden’s yet to notice that (yay!) and so I’ve simply made changes where we could. He has Star Wars sheets with a simple blue comforter cover, which will allow us to modify his room without fully investing in new bedding. Sheets are inexpensive to change! I upgraded his curtains from green stripes to plain blue. And I purchased new wall decals. 

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Given his room is already covered in Star Wars art, and Star Wars is more “acceptable” to us geeks than Pokemon for decor, I researched decals and again went back to etsy for my purchase. There were more decals than I could have ever imagined, but I opted for the X-Wing because it is so striking, and the black seemed simple. I carried it through with some very inexpensive decals I picked up on Amazon

It was so fun to surprise Aiden with his room makeover!!

A while ago, we surprised him with a new bed (from Costco). Though we had a convertible crib, we always thought we would move to a larger house soon, and that never happened. With the addition of more furniture to his room (side table, book case), a double bed would have eaten up too much floor space. In the end, we’re happy with the bed we purchased! We have so far kept the crib, in case we ever do want the full matching furniture set in a larger house (or wish to sell it). Costco has great bed selections – we love the storage on this one! – and even many trundle beds, another great option.

Custom Art from Minted Creates Memories for a Lifetime

For the past few years, I have been making custom art prints with Minted, along with our holiday card order. We have been ordering holiday cards for 3 years (see my past reviews), and my first year I created calendars featuring our kids. 2 years ago, instead of a new calendar that inevitably gets taken down, I decided to create a custom art print using one of the wonderful photo art templates available on Minted. This way, I could use our pictures to create a wonderful collage that would always memorialize our kids at this point in their lives.

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My first art creation was a compilation of photos of my boys from their first two years of life, balancing shots of them together with shots of them solo. I used the Heart Snapshot template and spent hours scouring my archives for an equal balance of photos of my boys from their various ages, then spent time trying to make the resulting image as well-balanced as possible, both with each boy and with the colors in the photos. I originally purchased this as a gift for the grandmothers, but have since purchased it for our home too! Along with my purchase, I was able to add frames, making it a simple gifting process. Here’s how amazing the frame looks, alongside a piece of art my 5-year-old Aiden created to match!

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Last year, we involved both the grandmothers in our annual family photo session with Sarah Jane Photography, then surprised each grandmother with a custom print. One grandmother’s print was created with the Love Line template and the other with the Mom Love template, which I further customized with a custom phrase, “love you to the moon and back.”

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Above is also featured our 2014 holiday card, which is one of my favourites so far. I love the shine to it!

Although shipping to Canada from Minted is kind of pricey, I have always been super impressed with the quality of the prints. The designs at Minted are created by independent artists, whether they are supplying holiday cards, wedding invitations (*new*), custom photo art, or a variety of beautiful art prints. Everything is printed on textured paper (not photo paper), so it has a lovely feel to it. What keeps me coming back to Minted is the beautifully updated designs and the amazing interface. I love that your own photos can load into the preview screen for a whole section (not just per item) and that you can customize so many aspects of both art and cards.

If you have kids, there are some beautiful options for decor from the Love You To The Moon & Back photo art to custom name art, birth stats, room signs and more!

Disclosure: Minted has offered me credit in exchange for a review of their art, though in all honesty it has been on my list of “stuff to write” since post-Christmas when I could officially write about the latest custom prints without ruining the surprise! All opinions are my own, obviously. ;)